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Shedu
The Neo-Assyrian Empire was a period of Mesopotamian history which began in 934 BC and ended in 609 BC. During this period, Assyria assumed a position as a great regional power, vying with Babylonia and other lesser powers for dominance of the region, though not until the reforms of Tiglath-Pileser III in the 8th century BC, did it become a powerful empire. In the Middle Assyrian period of the Late Bronze Age, Assyria had been a minor kingdom in northern Mesopotamia, competing for dominance with its southern Mesopotamian rival Babylonia. Beginning with the campaign of Adad-nirari II, it became a great regional power, growing to become a serious threat to 25th dynasty Egypt. During this period, Aramaic was also made an official language of the empire, alongside the Akkadian language.

Assyria finally succumbed to the rise of the Median Empire and the Neo-Babylonian Empire, with the Fall of Nineveh in 612 BC.

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Achaemenid Empire
Cyrus II, the Great (Old Persian: Kūruš; reigned 559 – c. 530 BC), was the founder of the Persian Empire under the Achaemenid dynasty. The empire expanded under his rule, eventually conquering most of Southwest Asia and much of Central Asia, from Egypt and the Hellespont in the west to the Indus River in the east, to create the largest state the world had yet seen.

During his twenty-nine year reign, Cyrus fought against some of the greatest states of his time, including the Median Empire, the Lydian Empire, and the Neo-Babylonian Empire. Cyrus did not venture into Egypt, as he himself died in battle, fighting the Massagetae along the Syr Darya in August 530 BC.

Beyond his nation, Cyrus left a lasting legacy on Jewish religion (through his Edict of Restoration), politics, and military strategy, as well as on both Eastern and Western civilization.

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Tatchara
Credit: Elnaz Sarbar
Tatchara
Darius I's palace, Persepolis, 522 – 486 BC

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Nabonidus Cylinder
...that the Hurrian language and the Urartian language are proposed to be distantly related to the modern Armenian language?

...that the Aramaic language, the lingua franca of the ancient Near East in Biblical times is still spoken as a first language today?

...that the syllabic cuneiform script was adapted to create a phonetic alphabet twice, for the Ugaritic language and for the Old Persian language?

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